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Resumes & Cover Letters

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1 Resumes & Cover Letters
Seattle Pacific University The Career Development Center

2 What is a Resume? An advertisement… your personal billboard.
A way to obtain an interview, not a job. A summary of your skills and accomplishments selected specifically to demonstrate your VALUE. Digested in seconds.

3 What are Employers Looking For?
A Match!! A match with job qualifications, experience, education, and skills. A Fit!! A fit within their organization.

4 Resume Writing Process
Broad Inventory or “Job Sketch.” Write down everything you did in your job (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) Relive your experience PAR: Problem Action Result

5 Resume Writing Process
Identify Skills and Unique Contributions Organize, Prioritize, and Write Format Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!

6 Components of a Good Resume
Heading: Name, Address, Phone #, Objective: Short, Simple, and Specific Skills: Hard and soft skills Education: Degree, Major/Emphasis School, City & State, Date GPA (optional) Experience: Position, Company, Date, and Responsibilities Interests/Activities/Honors/Awards/Leadership:

7 Objective Objectives are theme statements that will help organize the rest of the resume. No pronouns or self-defining language. Formula: Position + Department/Area + Industry + Skills = Objective

8 Sample Objectives “To obtain a position as a financial manager in the health care industry.” “Entry-level position in broadcast journalism at a commercial television station.” “To use computer science training in software development for designing and implementing operating systems.”

9 Skills/Qualifications
Hard Skills: Computer Programs Computer Languages Foreign Languages Soft Skills: Communication/Writing Public Speaking Organization Problem Solving

10 Skills Statement Examples
Skills Summary Fluent in Word, Excel, Power Point, Front page, and Publisher Experienced in C++, Pascal, and html Able to process and organize large volumes of records Learn quickly, seek out new responsibilities Qualifications Knowledge of Microsoft Office products. Fluent in Spanish and extensive travel throughout Spain and South America. Patient listener with excellent communications skills

11 Education Full name of degree: Full name of School Location Date: GPA
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Full name of School Location Date: Anticipated graduation June 2001 GPA

12 Education Example Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, Emphasis in Marketing Seattle Pacific University, Seattle WA, Anticipated Graduation June 2001 Major GPA: Deans List 6 out of 7 quarters Related Coursework:_____,_____,_____

13 Experience Employers are looking for:
Position/Title, Name of Company, Dates, and explanation of your responsibilities. Numbers and percents show accomplishments. Use action verbs and details. Be specific. Formula: Action Verb + Adjective + Quantify + Subject + Results = Experience Description

14 Experience Examples “Motivated and supervised eight sales staff to best sales volume in 25 store district.” “Developed procedures/orientation manual for community services division.”

15 Other Possible Headings
Interests Activities Honors/Awards Special Skills Leadership Volunteer Activities Related Experience Travel Certifications

16 Style of Resume Brief is best. One page. Avoid personal pronouns.
Use action verbs. Use bullet points for skills or job descriptions. Clean, simple layout with few indented margins. Use of space can denote confidence.

17 Organization/Layout Remember its an advertisement…sell yourself with a few key points. Positioning on the page is important, what comes first gets read first. Reverse chronological order. Use CAPITALS, Bold, Underline, and Italicize to emphasize important features.

18 Final Product Use laser printing.
Use resume paper – recommend white or off-white. Absolutely NO errors!!

19 One Size Doesn’t Fit All Develop multiple versions of your resume:
Word processed document formatted for “human eyes” Scannable ASCII Text-only HTML coded file Targeted for specific positions

20 Formatted vs. Electronic
Viewed by a human being Written for quick visual scanning Formatted to be pleasing to the eye ELECTRONIC Loaded into a computer database Written to be searched Formatted for complete and exact transfer of data

21 Electronic Resume Tips
Save or create your resume as “text-only” Review your resume and replace all unsupported characters with their ASCII equivalent Break the one-page rule pages is OK. Personal home pages with resume link should be all business.



24 Keywords are the Key Employers and recruiters search resume databases using keywords. Nouns and phrases that highlight technical and professional areas of expertise Industry-specific jargon Projects, achievements Personality and attitude Check the detailed job description.

25 Submitting Electronic Resumes
Don’t send your resume as an attachment! Always include an appropriate subject line. When submitting a paper resume that will be scanned: Do not fold If faxing, use “fine” mode

26 Cover Letters Purpose of the Cover Letter:
Applying for specific known vacancies. Inquiring about possible openings. A business letter that professionally introduces your resume. Explains the reason for sending your resume and contains additional information not found in the resume.

27 Preparing the Cover Letter
Produced neatly on 8 ½ X 11” paper that matches your resume. Completely free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Customized for the specific position, employer, and contact person. Three or four brief paragraphs.

28 What Makes a Cover Letter Stand Out?
Clear, concise, well written, and interesting. Helps the employer easily see the match between their needs and your qualifications and experience. Shows your knowledge of the organization and its needs. An internal company reference.

29 What’s in a Cover Letter?
First Paragraph: Who you are, Why you are writing, What position you are applying for, and How you learned of the opening. Second (Third) Paragraph(s): Make the case for why you are a match for the position. Point out related experience, specific skills, unique qualifications that you know they need. Final Paragraph: Closing and follow up. State your desire for an interview, let them know how and when you can be reached. Unless they say “No Calls,” let them know when you will be calling to set up an appointment for an interview.

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